?

Log in

No account? Create an account

November 21st, 2003

Heaven and Hell and the meter ran out

Last night I did my volunteer work at the Salvation Army, giving free legal advice to folks whose circumstances require that legal advice be free. The folks I meet there are virtually never folks about whom one might hypothetically think "this person did x bad thing, and no wonder they're so downtrodden". Instead, I always meet people who just live with far less than I do, for reasons that are often complex and human and so understandable. Sometimes someone I meet will have setbacks that make me realize the "there but for the grace" factor in everything.

As I drove home, I realized that I have so many good things in my life, and face so many fewer misfortunes. But then, when I arrived home, some letter advised me that I owe money for some out of state parking violation. I did not get any notice of this, and do not remember getting a parking ticket. But suddenly I began projecting in my mind adverse consequences that can arise from this parking violation matter. Of course, I've read that when one rents a car, sometimes this happens--the rental car company does not advise one of the ticket, and it gets tagged onto one almost "out of the blue". But suddenly, this parking ticket became my bane and my defining challenge.

I like to think I learn the lesson sometimes about being thankful for what I have. But something like this happens, and I realize that I ascribe way too much importance to minor things I'm scared about in this life. So today I'll make some calls, and probably write a check, and try to get my perspective back. I can make my Heaven into such a Hell with worry sometimes.

Tonight I drive to Arkansas, for a long overdue visit with my parents. I hope the weather holds up well.